"A seven-track album about life in working class New Jersey. Usually not the sort of thing I go for, but Bruce and the boys manage to pull it off really well. Springsteen sings like he's in his own world, stretching and twisting and teasing at syllables until each one sounds like a little sculpture. The lyrics seek to make epic poetry out of greaser life, and for the most part they all at least sound good, even when they veer into hipster posturing. Meanwhile, the E Street Band turns a blender onto classicist rock 'n' roll, producing what sounds like a prog-jazz take on jukebox fodder. The results are shockingly unpretentious, and more often than not they manage to evoke pure blissful sweaty rock 'n' roll chaos. The overall package is grimy and pretty at once, a gutter-rat romance that's about as convincing, as visceral, and as poetic as you're likely to find. In a way, it's like being at a big party with your entire high school graduating class and every friend you've ever had; it's a lot of fun, punctuated by sudden pinpricks of pure emotion and, somehow, nostalgia. There are also boring bits."
Sparks Will Always Fly
Serge Zehnder | 12/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't live in New York or Jersey or even in the states. I live in Switzerland, but there isn't a single line or a single note on this album that doesn't have something to do with my teenage years, or my early twenties.
I had a New York City Night more than eight years ago, that included almost everything Springsteen talks and describes in a number of these songs. "The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle" is one of those pieces that, to paraphrase from Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, "you love so much it hurts".
Rock, Jazz, Soul it's all there and will always encapsulate my deep love and gratefulness for Springsteen's music and my own little adventures and experiences that I had so far in my life. It's an album that works as a mirror, a dream or a faithful companion. The rough musical edges are its charm and the words are simply perfect. It's one of those albums where hopeless romantics can be fools and heroes at once, pine for a better day and walk towards the morning light with their heads high, knowing that the sparks flew as they claimed their place in the world.
Everything else is the compromise of life that lies a ahead. But here, within these seven songs, you can just shout out "I'm here, I'm alive and I shall be whatever I want to be"."
Greatest Album Title Ever
Hammerhead | Texas | 02/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"New York City Serenade,Kittys Back,Incident On 57th Street,and Rosalita. Stunning,moving,breathtaking,unequaled,greatest recording of 1973,and any other superlatives you may wish to add. Exactly what a 17 year old Senior from a small town Texas high school awash in a world of Journey and Kansas needed to restore his faith in Rock and Roll. I wish I would have discovered it in '73 as opposed to 1978. I had all but given up on Rock and Roll. Then,light emerged from the "Darkness". Yeah,the one from 'the edge of town'. Followed in rapid sucession by The Wild,the Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle','Greetings From Asbury Park' and 'Born To Run'. Yes, I realize they were not released in this order. But I digress. The most ambitious,intelligent work of the Bossman's early career. If you do not already have it,get it asap. With the exceptions of Walter Becker,Donald Fagen,and all things Lou Reed, this work was one of Rock's only saving graces from the early 1970's.